"Relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance--relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of a woman."
--John A Widtsoe

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Keeping Life's Demands in Balance

In Sister Gloria Leavitt's lesson last week (19 May, 2013 - Chapter 8: “Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart”), she referred to a conference talk given by Elder M. Russell Ballard "Keeping Life's Demands in Balance" (Ensign, May 1987).

As she was unable to cover everything she prepared, we're posting an excerpt from her notes here:

In his Conference talk, Elder Ballard offers some tips for helping us keep our lives in balance.

  1. Think about your life and set your priorities. (ed note: see chart below for more hints on how to set priorities.)
  2. Set short-term goals that you can reach.
  3. Through wise budgeting, control yoru real needs and measure them against your many wants in life.
  4. Stay close to your spouse, children, relatives and friends.
  5. Study the scriptures.
  6. Find time for sufficient rest, exercise and relaxation. Schedule it in if you need to.
  7. Families should teach one another the gospel, preferrably in Family Home Evening.
  8. Pray often as individuals and families.

A member of the Church by the name of Stephen Covey once came up with a matrix to help determine priorities of everyday tasks.

For every thing in our day, we need to ask ourselves, is it Urgent? Is it Important?

  1. If it is Urgent and Important, it needs doing right away. Things such as a crisis, medical emergency, crying baby, and pressing problems count as Urgent and Important. These things are of Necessity.
  2. Is it Important, but not Urgent, you're better off doing it sooner, rather than later. Preparation/planning, prevention, important relationships (like family) and true recreation are Important, but not necessarily urgent. These things are of Quality.
  3. Is it urgent, but not important? Sometimes some things seem more important than they are. Many phone calls and emails, other people's emergencies, some popular activities (like television shows) are urgent, but not important. These are the things of Deception.
  4. What about the things that are not Important or Urgent? Trivia, busywork, mindlessness, some leisure pursuits that do not benefit your health, the mundane. These are the things of Waste and should be avoided.

Sometimes some women mistake Urgency for Importance. Do not make that mistake. If something Urgent crops up, determine if it is Important. If it's not, consider giving it a miss for now and go focus on something Important but not Urgent.

Exercise: Make a list of everything you do in a day. Determine if it's Urgent. Determine if it's Important. Make a priority of the things that are Important.